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natural rights and self-government, paul was there to hear it all, and in the book, i developed the thesis that he was able to absorb the theoretical underpinnings that would allow him to identify his innate yearning for freedom as a natural right of man. jennings and madison developed a close bond of mutual respect, but they never were able to all together bridge that very deep divide between white ellite and black slaves. nevertheless, jennings had reason to expect that he would be freed by the terms of james mandyson's will. when it didn't happen, he was given to understand that madison and his wife, dolly, had come to an understanding before he died that she would free all the 100 montpelier slaves at her death, and, indeed, when she wrote a will of her own a few years after that, she had a term giving freedom to my man, paul, the only slave so treated. she and her son, by her first marriage, payne todd, who plays the role of foil to jennings in the book, payne todd had every advantage in life and squander them, jennings had no vangs, but managed to carve out a life of meaning, neverth
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